The special theory of relativity describes the motion and dynamics of objects moving at significant fractions of the speed of light.

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Proving the conservation of 4-momentum for a particle collision $A+B\to C+D$

Let me say that particle A hits particle B and two particles come out - C and D; In system S I can write: $$p_A^μ+p_B^μ=p_C^μ+p_D^μ;\tag{1}$$ here $p_N^μ$ is the 4-momentum. Using the Lorentz ...
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2answers
724 views

Special relativity paradox and gravitation/acceleration equivalence

One of the features of the black hole complementarity is the following : According to an external observer, the infinite time dilation at the horizon itself makes it appear as if it takes an ...
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2answers
138 views

Universe without a fixed universal speed limit

What would a universe without a fixed universal speed limit (like $c$ in the actual universe) look like? Would it be paradoxical? Would time travel into the past become possible?
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1answer
25 views

Using relative velocity between two frames and the time elapsed between events in one frame to find the time elapsed/event separation in the other [closed]

Q from text: A second transporternaut is beamed to a much more remote galaxy that is moving away form Earth at .87c. This time, too, she stays in the remote galaxy for one year as measured by clocks ...
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1answer
208 views

Doppler shift for a uniformly accelerating observer

This was given in textbook as an example. An observer on a spaceship with a four velocity $u$ is approaching from $x = +\infty$ a star at rest in the reference frame $S$ while undergoing constant ...
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2answers
358 views

Does space between objects contract?

I had a question, let us assume a coordinate system where there is 2 objects moving at relativistic speeds (at same velocity) for the observer therefore the observer will observe the length ...
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2answers
113 views

Special relativity: where does this naive calculation go wrong?

Inspired by the recent question, "If all motion is relative, how does light have a finite speed?", I tried to work out a little calculation. Where does it go wrong? My friend Buzz is traveling in a ...
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3answers
72 views

How do I sum up speed though space and time to obtain c (in terms of units)?

I'm still learning SR and only recently I could scratch the surface of such beautiful, complex and deep topic. This post here was really enlightening, and even though it is somewhat basic, it helped ...
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38 views

Relative Velocity Problem: Light? [duplicate]

Assume 2 rockets coming towards each other at each other at 99% of speed of light, and so as they pass each other the relative velocity between 2 rockets would be 198% of Speed of Light and so what ...
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1answer
159 views

Two apparent contradictions in SR involving time dilation and length contraction

So I've encountered the site "Alternative Physics" – a website proposing "alternative" theories to theories in modern physics. Of course, the site claims that both SR and GR are wrong. To show "why" ...
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1answer
112 views

How can the 'choice' of a photon said to be delayed?

My question arises from two ideas that seem to be contradictory. Idea One: Wheeler's Delayed Choice experiment is an interesting variation of the double slit experiment. Idea Two: In the "reference ...
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1answer
120 views

Physical interpretation of distances

Suppose we have a universe with only two distinguishable particles, neglecting gravitation. These particles start off next to each-other, ostensibly "touching" each-other and at rest. If it takes ...
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2answers
300 views

Reunion condition in the Twin Paradox

In the Twin Paradox two twins initially at rest in the same reference frame are separated and take different journeys through spacetime. Eventually they are reunited. What is the condition for the ...
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56 views

Sum according to a function - composition of velocities

An observation more than a question. Take any function $f$ (additional hypotheses may follow) and evaluate it on any two points $x_1, x_2\in\mathcal{D}_f$. Define then the sum of these two points as ...
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2answers
221 views

Why do we consider Lagrangian densities in QFT?

My question is: Why do we consider Lagrangian densities in QFT (as opposed to Lagrangians as in classical mechanics)? Is it simply because of the following? We wish the theories to be Lorentz ...
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1answer
47 views

Exact meaning of locality and its implications on the formulation of a QFT

As far as I understand it, locality in physics is the statement that interactions can only occur between physical objects if the spacetime interval separating them is null or time-like. Thus, if the ...
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2answers
150 views

Commutation relations in QFT and the principle of locality

My question is, given two space-time points $x^{\mu}$ and $y^{\mu}$, if the events that occur at these points are simultaneous, i.e. $x^{0}=y^{0}$, are the two events necessarily space-like separated? ...
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1answer
168 views

Finding the total energy in centre of mass frame

I'm working through a problem in a special relativity textbook (Woodhouse) and I'm having some difficulty. I have to show that if I have a particle of rest mass $M$, total energy $E$ colliding with a ...
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3answers
109 views

The relation between mass and speed

Massless particles (or luxons) have no (rest) mass ($m = 0$) and a speed equal to the speed of light ($v = c$). Massive particles (or bradyons) have mass ($m > 0$) and a speed lower than the speed ...
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2answers
131 views

Simple Harmonic Motion in Special Relativity

I was trying to see what results I would get if I were to incorporate relativistic corrections into the case of a harmonic oscillator in one dimension. I thought that if the maximum velocity of the ...
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6answers
377 views

Detecting absolute motion inside a box

This is not a contradiction and I know it is impossible but still consider a thought experiment by me and point out if something is wrong. See the following picture and then the explanation follows. ...
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1answer
68 views

Is it possible for the light (photons) to turns into normal electromagnetic signal?

I want a theoretical opinion about this question: The relativistic Doppler Shift equation for the light is $$\frac{f_s}{f_o}=\sqrt{\frac{1+\beta}{1-\beta}}$$ where $\beta=v/c$ is the velocity of the ...
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2answers
111 views

Proof of conservation of energy with the relativistic definition of force

Professor Susskind proved conservation of energy in one of his lectures by taking the classical definition of force ($F = ma$) and by showing that its time derivative is zero. How can we do that with ...
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Proving the speed of light to be an invariant and the “ultimate” speed limit using Minkowski diagrams

Can one show that a certain speed, denoted $c$, is invariant and the ultimate speed limit in all reference frames using Minkowski diagrams? As we define $c = 1$, one can find the angle $\tan^{-1}(1) ...
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1answer
89 views

On the Lorentz Group representation [closed]

I am going through the notes on QFT by Srednicki (which is certainly a worth reading on the subject, and can be found online, see http://web.physics.ucsb.edu/~mark/qft.html). When describing ...
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60 views

Is it true that whenever any non rigid body moves, there must be a delay between the ends? [duplicate]

Very sorry if this is still considered a duplicate to this, but unfortunately the answer to this question cannot address this because mine is a nonrigid body and involve biological locomotion concepts ...
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2answers
80 views

Is this an inertial frame of reference in relativistic context?

What I've learned from our special relativity lectures is that an inertial frame of reference in relativity is one that experiences no gravitational forces. Also, it is a frame where if a particle is ...
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48 views

Question on time dilation [duplicate]

When i studied physics we had this example where someone climbes into a rocked flyes into space comes back the time that passes for him one year time on earth 86 years. I think most know what thinking ...
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0answers
121 views

Lorentz transformation of Gamma matrices $\gamma^{\mu}$

From my understanding, gamma matrices transforms under Lorentz transformation $\Lambda$ as \begin{equation} \gamma^{\mu} \rightarrow S[\Lambda]\gamma^{\mu}S[\Lambda]^{-1} = ...
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1answer
127 views

Perfect fluid and Cauchy momentum equation

The stress-energy tensor of a perfect fluid is given by $$T^{\mu\nu}=\left(\rho+pc^{-2}\right)u^\mu u^\nu+pg^{\mu\nu}$$ The divergence of the stress-energy tensor is zero: $\nabla_\mu T^{\mu\nu}=0$. ...
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3answers
579 views

Why does nonlinearity in quantum mechanics lead to superluminal signaling?

I recently came across two nice papers on the foundations of quantum mechancis, Aaronson 2004 and Hardy 2001. Aaronson makes the statement, which was new to me, that nonlinearity in QM leads to ...
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1answer
35 views

Energy and momentum of a relativistic electron

The question is to find the magnitude, $p$ of the electron's momentum in the unit of MeV/$c$, given that the kinetic energy of the electron is 2.53 MeV. The answer provided by the book says, ...
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123 views

Plane curve transform to moving inertial system coordinates

As a non-phycisist I hope my question makes sense and is understandable. It deals with special relativity. I suppose there is a e.g. plane curve ( e.g. a circle ) given in the x-y plane of of an ...
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4answers
113 views

Can a photon have little to no energy and/or speed?

Can a photon move more slowly than the speed of light and behave 'non-relativistically,' so to speak. Perhaps another way to express my thought is: could we stop a photon from moving?
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2answers
605 views

Why does weak equivalence principle say gravity is equivalent to acceleration?

I am told that the weak equivalent principle, that $m_i=m_g$ (inertial and gravitational masses are equivalent) is equivalent to the statement that in a small system you can't tell whether you are in ...
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1answer
69 views

Hafele-Keating revisited with a gravity clock

Most modern clocks use electromagnetic phenomena to measure time. There are perhaps some older clocks that involve gravity to some degree (hour glass, pendulum), but I believe they still have a ...
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5answers
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I know light's speed in vacuum is constant, but what about its velocity?

Is the velocity of light in vacuum constant? It seems it would be different depending on whether it is coming toward you or away from you, but I just want to make sure. Does the direction of light ...
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1answer
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Lorentz Invariant Integration Measure [closed]

When we canonically quantize the scalar field in QFT, we use a Lorentz invariant integration measure given by $$\widetilde{dk} \equiv \frac{d^3k}{(2\pi)^3 2\omega(\textbf{k})}.$$ How can I show that ...
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2answers
224 views

Proving the Lorentz invariance of the Lorentz invariant phase space element

I have been looking around for a satisfactory answer to prove that $$\frac{d^3\vec{p}}{2E_{\vec{p}}}$$ where $E_{\vec{p}}=+\sqrt{(|\vec{p}|c)^2+(mc^2)^2}$, is Lorentz invariant. The standard answer ...
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3answers
134 views

What can change a photon's frequency?

I found this question: Is it possible to apply force to a light particle? As it states, gravity can change the frequency of light by changing its momentum. My question regards other phenomena that ...
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1answer
52 views

Polarization vector identity in Minkowski space?

Playing around with numerical light-like momenta $p^\mu_1,p^\mu_2$ (light-like meaning ${p_1}^\mu {p_1}_\mu={p_2}^\mu {p_2}_\mu=0$) and corresponding polarization vectors ...
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1answer
72 views

How to prove $\frac{\mathrm{d}^3\vec{p}}{E}$ is Lorentz invariant? [duplicate]

To prove $\frac{\mathrm{d}^3\vec{p}}{E}$ is Lorentz invariant is to prove $$\frac{\mathrm{d}^3\vec{p}}{E} = \frac{\mathrm{d}^3\vec{p}'}{E'} \qquad(\mathrm{d}^3\vec{p} := \mathrm{d}p_x \mathrm{d}p_y ...
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2answers
91 views

Electric field energy of two parallel moving charges at relativity speeds

Assume two particles of the same charge $q$ moving in parallel trajectories on the x,y plane. The distance between them is $d$ and it's defined in the y axon. The problem is to calculate the energy of ...
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1answer
67 views

Analytical mechanics with SR

Is there an analytical mechanics with SR? Of course you can write down the Lagrangian and Hamiltonian of a free particle. What about non-free? Are there any problems? To be specific: what would the ...
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3answers
767 views

How is quantum mechanics compatible with the speed of light limit?

Consider a free electron in space. Let us suppose we measure its position to be at point A with a high degree of accuracy at time 0. If I recall my QM correctly, as time passes the wave function ...
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5answers
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Can we find actual rest mass of things on Earth

Earth moves around the Sun and the Sun moves around the galaxy and the galaxy moves with unknown speed and direction. We have speed so the mass of us all altered. Can we know the real rest mass? If ...
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1answer
34 views

Entanglement and Special Relativity [closed]

There are 2 particles entangled and move far apart to 2 measuring devices . The first measurement of either particle will collapse the wave function and set spin up and spin down on the particles. 2 ...
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1answer
58 views

Derivation of magnetic force for a charge in motion relative to a wire (M. Purcell's Electricity and Magnetism)

I have a question regarding the derivation of magnetic force in M. Purcell and David Morin's Electricity and Magnetism. In the first part, they derived the force first by assuming that a charge q is ...
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3answers
117 views

Why does a violation of locality not imply a violation of relativity?

This question is closely related to: What counts as information? Taking the specific example, again, of the EPR experiment. I think everyone agrees on the following: The act of measuring the ...
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4answers
209 views

Why is the momentum of a particle $\gamma mv$?

I am very new to relativity, and as I was going through Resnick & Halliday, I saw that momentum was no longer $mv$, rather $\gamma mv$. This was the proof: $$p = mv = m \frac{\delta x}{\delta ...